Star pops in to help launch Best Small Shop search

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Singer – and now author – Frankie Bridge has helped launch the search to find the UK’s Best Small Shop of 2020.

The Saturday’s star was at an independent bookshop in the Wirral to kickstart the competition while promoting her new book Open: Why Asking For Help Can Save Your Life

The annual competition, which culminates in a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament, highlights the best of Britain’s independent retail sector. It celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities. It is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC). 

Last year’s winner was  Bristol-based delicatessen Papadeli. The Mainstreet Trading Company, a combined bookshop, cafe, deli and homeware shop in St Boswells, in the rural Scottish Borders, won in 2018.

Frankie with bookshop owner Sue Porter

To enter, shops must be an independent retailer, defined as a non-corporate business selling goods or services to the public for use or consumption rather than for resale, from a business rated premises in the UK.

Entrants will be challenged with promoting the benefits of their retail offering to consumers with part of the selection process being voted on by the public on the contest’s website.

“Despite the challenging retail environment, there is plenty of evidence that people value and think it is important to support small local businesses and independent retailers,” explains Mark Walmsley, Chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation.

“These retailers sit at the heart of communities up and down the country, offering a meeting place, not to mention choice, diversity, innovation and genuine customer service. That’s what we are celebrating with these awards. We have a bright and vibrant independent retail sector and it’s important that we put it in the spotlight.”

Frankie was certainly doing that during her visit to Linghams in Heswall. Research by the British Independent Retailers Association  found that independent retailers opened 4.5 per cent more shops in 2018 than a year earlier, with independents accounting for 64 per cent of all retail and leisure units in Britain.

To enter your shop for the Best Small Shops Competition 2020, visit this link